Pollination is an essential process in the life cycle of most flowering plants and thus maintenance of the process is necessary for the long-term maintenance of rainforest ecosystems and their associated biota. As rainforest stands become fragmented will disruption of plant/pollinator relationships result in further decline of ecosystem diversity?
The spatial and temporal distribution of resources in rainforest is reviewed, and the patterns of resource availability suggest that generalist rather than specialist plant-pollinator relationships will be more common, and this may confer resilience to the ecosystem in the face of environmental perturbation. However, individual plant species, in particular those with highly co-adapted plant-pollinator relation� ships, and species in which breeding success is strongly population density-dependent, may be at risk if rainforest ecosystems are fragmented.
Information on pollination in rainforests is reviewed, with especial attention being given to subtropical rainforests such as occur in New South Wales. The evidence supports the prediction of the importance of generalist insect dominated pollination systems, at least for trees and large shrubs, but attention is drawn to a number of cases where specialist interactions have been demonstrated. It is suggested that thrips may be the pollinators of a number of species.
There are few data on the pollination ecology of Australian subtropical rainforests. In view of the importance of pollination for long-term conservation of rainforest, a number of important avenues for future research are suggested.